Let There Be Peace will be tattooed into the skin of the world. Why have small ambitions? It all began on the wall of Manchester University. Presently Let There Be Peace is going up on walls at Huddersfield University and at The British Council in Addis Ababa.
A few days ago I was at 10 Downing St for the First World War centenary. The Prime minister gave a heartfelt speech and reminded us that we were stood in the garden where Asquith walked when he was Prime Minister at the time of The First World War. Of The first World War total British Army killed in action, plus died of wounds, disease or injury, plus missing presumed dead: nearly a million.
When the prime minister finished his speech a war horse trotted majestically from the back of the garden and reared. The garden fell silent in a mixture of shock and awe as the War Horse breathed open air and stepped towards us. The last time I saw this magnificent beast was at The National Theatre.
Back at home I receive a message via facebook . It said “I just wanted to say I really like your poem ‘Let there be peace’ and I’m currently a University of Manchester student studying a Masters in Humanitarianism.
I’ve seen Let There Be Peace on the wall in the University and I’m choosing to read your poem out on Monday 7th July on the 9th anniversary of the London Bombings in Hyde Park. I was a survivor of the attack.”
When there were just the two of us my dear friends grandfather, an ex soldier, used to whisper to me as if it were an untold military secret “The heroes never came back”.